Women in Saudi Arabia notoriously have fewer rights than men. A major change is being announced that will reduce at least some of that inequality. According to Al Arabiya, now Saudi women can sponsor their foreign-born husbands and children for residency in the Kingdom. The article suggests — but is not clear on the point — that women’s marriage and parenting of children will also confer citizenship after four years of marriage. Foreign husbands and children of the marriages are still to be excluded from holding government jobs of all types. Oh… and the marriage also has to have been given official sanction (e.g., prior permission).

This move is far from the whole deal Saudi women would have liked, but it’s at least half the loaf on the issue. Families can at last be united in the country.

Saudi women now allowed to sponsor their non-Saudi husbands
Al Arabiya

Saudi women can now “sponsor” their foreign husbands and children, according to the Directorate General of Passports, the one in control of immigration in the Kingdom.

In a press release published on Sunday, Saudi women who are married to non-Saudis can now legally sponsor their children and husbands if they have been married “legitimately.”

Saudi women need to obtain permission from the interior minister in order to marry a foreign national.

Unlike Saudi men, Saudi women who married foreigners were not previously allowed to bring their husbands and children into the kingdom. The only way for husbands and children to stay in the country was to be sponsored by a company for work purposes or otherwise they can’t legally be in Saudi Arabia.


February:10:2013 - 09:18 | Comments & Trackbacks (7) | Permalink
7 Responses to “Inching toward Equal Rights”
  1. 1
    hannah Said:
    February:10:2013 - 09:30 

    I didn’t think Saudi women were allowed to marry foreign men – I thought the approvals were only granted for Saudi men marrying foreign women?

    Also, amusing that children born to one foreign parent are excluded from government jobs. I assume that doesn’t apply to those in the royal family whose mothers are Yemeni or Syrian…

  2. 2
    John Burgess Said:
    February:10:2013 - 09:51 

    They were permitted, but they had so many hoops to jump through that most found it impossible to do “properly”. “Amusing” might be the word to apply. “Baffling” would be another, or perhaps, “outrageous”.

  3. 3
    hannah Said:
    February:10:2013 - 10:18 

    Ahh, I see. Not that it’s easy in absolute terms for Saudi men, but still relatively easier for them it seems.

    Amusing, baffling, and outrageous are all words that could be used to describe the royal family…

  4. 4
    John Burgess Said:
    February:10:2013 - 12:17 

    Or Saudi culture/society on the whole. But also, “fascinating”!

  5. 5
    News-2013-02-12 | SUSRIS Pinged With:
    February:12:2013 - 12:11 

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    February:12:2013 - 12:15 

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    February:12:2013 - 12:23 

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